Bay Area Businesses Offer Help, Services to Furloughed Government Workers

Bay Area businesses are coming together to help those affected by the longest government shutdown in United States history.

San Jose-based PayPal announced Friday that it will offer $25 million in interest-free cash advances to help U.S. federal employees impacted by the shutdown.

The one-time cash advance will be available for a maximum of $500 and with a minimum amount of $250, according to PayPal. Furloughed workers can visit for more details.

A well-known San Francisco restaurant is feeding furloughed government workers and their families free all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner buffets until the shutdown ends starting Wednesday.

Lefty O’Doul’s New Fisherman’s Wharf Baseball Ballpark & Café said all workers have to do is show up with their federal ID’s to the 145 Jefferson Street spot.

"President Trump has stopped the paychecks from 800,000 innocent workers who are struggling to make ends meet," said Lefty’s owner Nick Bovis. "Thousands of these fine public servants are our neighbors and friends working the US Park Police, TSA, and other vital government jobs."

Bovis said he can’t "stop the madness" but he can help feed friends and neighbors who are going without pay.

"We are on the honor system here at Lefty’s," said Bovis in a statement.

Pier 39's Aquarium of the Bay is offering free admission to the aquarium through Jan. 22 with a valid government ID.

Employees can bring up to four family members.

Furloughed federal workers with a Common Access Card or federal ID can visit the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, zoo officials said Thursday.

"We are sympathetic to the federal workers during this challenging time," Tanya Peterson, CEO and executive director of the San Francisco Zoological Society, said in a news release. "We hope a zoo visit can provide a respite for them and a chance to spend some time with their families in a fun environment."

Also, as the world famous Harlem Globetrotters make their way to the South Bay this weekend, the basketball team is offering free tickets to furloughed government workers.

Workers are invited to the Globetrotters’ 2019 Fan Powered North American tour at the Oracle Arena and SAP Center.

"As the Ambassadors of Goodwill, we want to show our support to all those government workers whose paychecks, and by extension their families, are directly impacted," said Globetrotter President Howard Smith.

All furloughed government workers can receive two tickets to the game by showing a valid government ID at a local box office while supplies last.

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